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Bishop Edward J. Burns

About Bishop Burns

Most Rev. Edward J. Burns was appointed the eighth Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas in 2016 by Pope Francis. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he was ordained a priest in 1983. In 2009, Bishop Burns served as the Bishop of Juneau, Alaska. Prior to that, he served the Catholic Church on the national level as Executive Director of the Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C. from 1999 -2008. Bishop Burns currently serves on the Catholic Relief Services Foundation Board. Bishop Burns has also been a frequent Bishop Catechist at World Youth Day events and a presenter at convocations, conventions and retreats nationwide. In addition to his duties as Bishop of Dallas, he is the Chancellor of the University of Dallas, Member of the Board of Trustees for the Papal Foundation, the Board of Directors for the National Catholic Bioethics Committee, and a Member of the Board of Catholic Relief Services.

Curriculum Vitae

Born

  • October 7, 1957, in Pittsburgh, PA. The son of the late Geraldine Little Burns and the late Donald P. Burns.

Education   

  • Secondary education at Lincoln High School (graduated 1975) in Ellwood City, PA.
  • B.A. degree (Philosophy and Sociology – graduated 1979) from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA while in priestly formation at St. Paul Seminary.
  • Received a Master of Divinity degree and a Master of Theology degree from Mt. St. Mary Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD.

Ordination

  • Ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh by the Most Reverend Vincent M. Leonard on June 25, 1983.
  • Ordained a Bishop at Saint Paul’s Cathedral in Pittsburgh on March 3, 2009, and installed as Bishop in the Diocese of Juneau at Saint Paul the Apostle Catholic Church on April 2, 2009.
  • Installed as Bishop in the Diocese of Dallas at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe on February 9, 2017.

1983: Assigned as a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Burgettstown, PA

1988: Assigned as parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish, Washington, PA

1991: Appointed Vocation Director of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Vice-Rector of St. Paul Seminary and Dean of Studies of St. Paul Seminary

1993: Named Director of the Department of Clergy and Ministerial Formation for the Diocese of Pittsburgh

1997: Served as the Director of the Department of Clergy Personnel for the Diocese of Pittsburgh

1999: Bishop Donald Wuerl released Bishop Burns from priestly service in the Diocese of Pittsburgh in order to accept the position of Executive Director of the Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC. (In 2008 the office transitioned into the Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life & Vocations in response to the re-organization of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.)

USCCB Projects (1999-2008):  Was co-chair of the Third Continental Congress on Vocations to Ordained Ministry and Consecrated Life in North America called by His Holiness Pope John Paul II and took place in Montreal, Canada; April 18-21, 2002.

  • Rewriting of the Program of Priestly Formation
  • Serving as staff to the Apostolic Seminary Visitations
  • Initiating the vocation programs for priesthood entitled, Priestly Life and Vocation Summit: Fishers of Men
  • Served as Interim Director of the Secretariat for Priestly Life & Ministry and served as a consultant for the Bishops’ Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People

2006: Named a monsignor and appointed a Chaplain to His Holiness by Pope Benedict XVI on June 29, 2006

2008: Returned to the Diocese of Pittsburgh and Bishop David A. Zubik, appointed him as Rector of St. Paul Seminary, Director of the Department for Pre-Ordination Formation and Director of the Department for Priestly Vocations for the Diocese of Pittsburgh effective August 18, 2008

BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF JUNEAU

  • On January 19, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Burns to be the fifth Bishop of Juneau, Alaska.
    • He was ordained a Bishop at Saint Paul’s Cathedral in Pittsburgh on March 3, 2009, and installed as Bishop in the Diocese of Juneau at Saint Paul the Apostle Catholic Church on April 2, 2009.

BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF DALLAS

  • On December 13, 2016, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Burns to be the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Dallas, Texas.
    • He was installed as the Bishop of Dallas at the Cathedral Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe on February 9, 2017.

RESPONSIBILITIES WITH THE UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS

  • Past Chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People
  • Past Member of the Board of Directors for Catholic Relief Services
  • Past Member of the sub-committee for Home Missions
  • Current Member of the Committee for Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth
  • Current Chair of the Bishop’s Working Group for Youth and Young Adults 

OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES 

  • Chancellor of the University of Dallas
  • Member of the Board of Trustees for the Papal Foundation
  • Member of the Board of Directors for the National Catholic Bioethics Committee
  • Member of the Board of Catholic Relief Services

Coat of Arms

In according to the Roman Catholic Church heraldic tradition, the Coat of Arms of a Bishop is normally composed by:

  • a shield with its charges (symbols) coming from family, geographic, religious and historical meanings and/or referred to the name of the Bishop;
  • a golden processional cross, with one traversal bar, to represent the rank of the Bishop, “impaled” (vertically) behind the shield;
  • a green hat (galero) with 12 (six on each side) attached tassels, ordained 1; 2; 3; from the top;
  • a scroll with the motto, written in black, below everything.

Here it has been chosen a samnitic shape shield, frequently used in Roman Catholic Church heraldry and a botonny processional cross with five red stones to represent the Five Wounds of Christ.

For his motto Bishop Burns has chosen the familiar words from the liturgy that so often serve as an invitation to prayer and they reflect the words of the Apostle and Evangelist John encouraging believers to be confident that the Lord will hear us when we pray:

“And we have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours.”
1 John 5:14-15

It also reflects the passage in the Gospel of Luke, known as the gospel of prayer, where Jesus teaches his disciples to pray:

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Luke 11:9-10

BLAZONRY (HERALDIC DESCRIPTION) OF THE COAT OF ARMS
“Impaled. Dexter: Gules, on a fess per bend wavy Argent three fleurs-de-lis Azure; in the sinister chief two crossed swords of the second, in the dexter base a mullet of the same; sinister: per bend sinister of the third and Or, a seven points star encircled by a rosary of the same in the dexter chief and a bugle-horn Sable, stringed of the first in the sinister base; three wavy barrulets of the third in base, thereupon a fishnet of the fifth”

In the right side of the shield (in the heraldic shield, right and left are exchanged from the observer point of view since we have to consider the right and the left of the soldier who holds his own shield) we find represented the Coat of Arms of the Diocese of Dallas; it has a red (Gules) field in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The diagonal white bend represents the Trinity River located within the diocese (the placement of the bend, from top left to bottom right, somewhat resembles the northwest-southeast direction the river takes through the state).

The fleurs-de-lis within the bend are in honor of Pope Leo XIII (who was Pope when the diocese was established) and are taken from his coat of arms. The fleur-de-lis is repeated three times to represent the Holy Trinity.

The solitary star represents Dallas and also pays tribute to Texas’ nickname, “The Lone Star State”. The two swords honor St. Paul, who is the patron saint of the first Catholic settlement in Northeast Texas.

In the left side there is the personal Coat of Arms of Bishop Burns: this part of the shield is divided in two colours: the blue (Azure) symbolizes the separation from the worldly values and the ascent of the soul toward God, therefore the run of the Celestial Virtues which raise themselves from the things of the earth toward the sky. On this field we can see a star enclosed in a rosary, in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary whose feast is on October 7th, day of birth of Bishop Burns, while the last part of the shield is coloured in gold (Or), the most noble metal, symbol then of the first Virtue, the Faith: indeed, is due to Faith that Bishop Burns became a “fisher of men”, a service he has till now developed as a priest, a vocation director, Rector of the Seminary of Pittsburgh and as Bishop; the net recalls opportunely the Lord’s charge to St. Peter to be a “fisher of men” and the importance of this ministry in the Diocese of Dallas. The black (Sable) horn, in heraldic shape, comes from the coat of arms of the Burns family and the three waves of water in blue (azure) want to remind the three rivers of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, where Bishop Burns comes from.

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Please note that Bishop Burns' official social media presence is maintained through his official X (formerly Twitter) account: @BishopBurns. Bishop Burns will never solicit donations or request financial contributions through any unofficial social media platform. If you come across any account or request that appears to be seeking donations on our Bishop's behalf, we kindly ask you to verify its authenticity. Let us remain vigilant in our faith and stewardship, and may our actions always reflect the teachings of our Savior.

May God bless you abundantly for your unwavering devotion and support.

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